Ah, the lovely American totalitarian patent system where any idea can be owned for a fee.
Another patent fiasco reported on Slashdot:A story on National Geographic News cites a study claiming that 20% of all human genes 'have been patented in the United States, primarily by private firms and universities.'
While universities hold 28% of all gene-related patents, 63% belong to
private firms, with a whopping 2000 patented genes (approximately 67%,
or 50% total) belonging to a single firm."
From the article: "You
can find dozens of ways to heat a room besides the Franklin stove, but
there's only one gene to make human growth hormone ... If one
institution owns all the rights, it may work well to introduce a new
product, but it may also block other uses, including research ..."
You can read the full article here